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General News of Tuesday, 18 May 2021

Source: peacefmonline.com

We have adequate funds to continue free SHS - Education Minister tells critics

Dr Yaw Osei Adutwum, Education Minister play videoDr Yaw Osei Adutwum, Education Minister

Education Minister, Yaw Osei Adutwum, has pledged President Nana Akufo-Addo's commitment to his Free Senior High School (SHS) policy in his second term.

According to him, the president is not backing down on the policy.

About a month ago, the National Democratic Congress (NDC) minority in parliament called on the Akufo-Addo government to address the challenges associated with the 'Free SHS' policy.

The Minority claims the initiative is blighted by corruption due to the centralization of funds.

In a statement titled "Looming Crisis In Senior High Schools Under the FREE SHS Programme In The Country", the group catalogued a number of challenges that have bedevilled the policy and called on the government to decentralize the funding to make it work.

“The over-centralization of the Free SHS program at the centre has accounted for the persistent challenges in the running of Senior High Schools in the country. Before the introduction of the program in 2017, school authorities were given free hands in the management of funds in their schools. Unfortunately, the centralization of the disbursement of funds and procurement has also led to a large scale of corruption that continues to compromise the quality and quantity of items supplied,” the Minority asserted.

But speaking to host Kwami Sefa Kayi in an exclusive interview on Peace FM's morning show ''Kokrokoo', Yaw Adutwum said contrary to grapevine reports that the Free SHS policy may be discontinued, the president, in his second term, is equal to the task of ensuring no student is left out of the programme.

He stated that aside from the government absorbing all the school fees that parents and guardians of the students would have borne, it also pays all utility bills of the various schools and does much more to relieve the parent and guardians of any burden to send his or her child to school.

Yaw Osei Adutwum stated emphatically that there are no challenges nor financial difficulties with the Free SHS policy in the president's second term.

''It's not true that the government is short of money to enhance the free Senior High School. The government has provided us with requisite funds to continue the policy this year,'' he stressed.

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